From our correspondent Glenn Maffia residing in Didyma
As Turkish Archaeological News (TAN) readers know full well, I have been writing about the local archaeology for many years within ancient Didyma, and have recently begun to cover interesting events which have caught my notice in Miletus. It is something I find particularly fascinating and intriguing.
Due to the interest generated by last week’s article about the Miletus Cave, I feel obliged to expand a little further on the artefacts which were found within the dark and sinister depths of its chambers, and a particular dark page of history.
Following the recent press reports informing us that the cave beneath Miletus’ theatre was now open to the public, I and two companions decided to journey along to the Meandros River delta to locate and explore this mysterious natural fissure.
Nestling upon the shores of the Aegean some two hours drive south of Izmir one can find the site of the second most important Oracle active during the Archaic and Hellenistic Eras; the Temple of Apollo in ancient Didyma. Indeed, this area was purported to be a sacred place devoted to Apollo even before the Greek colonization c.800 BCE.
Ancient Didyma rests upon the Aegean Coast of southwest Turkey merely 100km from the epicentre of the latest earthquake to cast its shadow of foreboding over this seismically volatile part of the world.
As an avid historian of the famous Temple of Apollo in Didyma, it will come as no surprise to know that I was early to the temple the day after the lethal 6.6 magnitude earthquake (Friday 30 October 2020) to inspect any damage that may have occurred to this unique structure of antiquity.